The Philadelphia Marathon

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I haven’t posted too much this training cycle, but if you follow me on instagram, you have probably figured out that I ran the Philadelphia Marathon this past weekend. I have a lot of mixed feelings about the race, which hopefully I can sort out through this post.

The goal for the race was to qualify for Boston, but the weather had other plans for me. I ended up with a time of 3:35:24, which is TWENTY-FOUR seconds short of qualifying for my age. Most of you probably know though, that the bare minimum qualifying standard almost definitely would not have been enough to be accepted into the race. That actually helps cushion the blow.

course map

As you can tell by the map, a large portion of the race is along the river. That did not work out very well with the wind. Those miles were brutal. I was on track for a 3:30 pace, which would be 8:00 pace, until mile 18. All the fighting against the wind finally took its toll. I think what I felt is what is commonly referred to as “the wall.” I noticed some shaking and decided to walk for just 1-2 minutes. I took a gel and drank half of my water bottle. Then, I slowly eased back into running because I knew I couldn’t let it end that way. I managed to get back on track for the most part, but I never fully got all the way back down to 8:00 pace. I finished with an average pace of 8:13.

While I am disappointed that I did not get the BQ time I wanted, I did manage to pull off a 19 minute PR from my marathon last year. I am trying to focus on that. It was a challenging training cycle, and I worked really hard for that PR. Under ideal weather conditions, I really think I could have done it. I know that I did the best that I could under the circumstances, and that it really took a lot of grit to overcome that wall and the desire to give up. The question now, though, is whether or not to give it another try so that I can run Boston 2017 with my friends who did qualify, or to wait another year or more.

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For now, I am going to try to reflect on the positives and relax a little over the holidays. I can’t lie and say I haven’t researched all the flattest marathons that are scheduled before the Boston 2017 deadline, but only time will tell what the future holds.

How do you handle remaining positive despite missing your goals?

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6 thoughts on “The Philadelphia Marathon

  1. Hi Miss Adventure!
    I had a very similar experience running NY except I felt I was battling crowds the whole time that sucked my energy up. I also PRed by a good chuck of time (20 minutes…although I am no where as fast as you!!) but I agree it’s REALLY hard mentally! You asked how to stay positive and I found that focusing on another race of a completely different distance is helping me a lot … although it’s taken me about three weeks to get to this more positive outlook! I’m training now for a 5K in January and it’s helped me gain space from the marathon experience.
    That’s a hard choice whether or not you should try to BQ for 2017…part of me says YES! Go for it! As long as you don’t burn yourself out?
    Good luck!!

    Katie

    P.S. I’m also an elementary school teacher and would love to know how you balanced training for a BQ with teaching!

    • Thank you for your kind words! I try and do almost all of my weekday workouts before school to make sure I get them in. I do my weekly speed workouts after school on Wednesdays, and long runs on Saturday. It really helps you be more productive throughout the entire day when you run early!

  2. Wow, what a fantastic PR in the marathon! I heard the weather was rough that Sunday, I was in Annapolis the previous day for the half marathon, which didn’t turn out the way I expected either! You’re so close to BQ…I’m sure you’ll get it your next race!

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